National Aboriginal Advisory Committee

Record of Meeting November 29 & 30, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario
Correctional Service Canada National Headquarters

The National Aboriginal Advisory Committee (NAAC) provides advice and recommendations to the Commissioner on the provision of correctional services to Indigenous offenders.

- Role Statement

In attendance:

NAAC Members:
Lloyd Haarala, Elder, NAAC member
Fred Campiou, Elder, NAAC member
Ted Norris, NAAC member
Muriel Stanley Venne, NAAC member
Rhoda Innuksuk, NAAC member
William Charlie, NAAC member
Erin Corston, NAAC member

CSC Staff:
Don Head, Commissioner, CSC
Anne Kelly, Senior Deputy Commissioner, NHQ, CSC
Jennifer Wheatley, Assistant Commissioner, Health Services, NHQ, CSC
Larry Motiuk, Assistant Commissioner, Policy Sector, NHQ, CSC
Kelley Blanchette, Deputy Commissioner for Women, NHQ, CSC
France Gratton, Director General, Offender Programs and Reintegration, NHQ, CSC
Lisa Allgaier, Director General, Aboriginal Initiatives Directorate, NHQ, CSC
Marty Maltby, Director, Operations, Aboriginal Initiatives Directorate, NHQ, CSC
Emmanuel Rutsimbo, A/Director, Reintegration Programs, NHQ, CSC
Anie Latour-Archambault, National Manager, Employment and Employability, CORCAN
Doug De Vos, Project Officer, CORCAN
Jennifer Luchtenberg, Project Officer, Aboriginal Initiatives Directorate, NHQ, CSC

Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Olivier Cullen, Senior Issues Manager, Indigenous Advisor, Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Justine Villeneuve, Policy Advisor, Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Christine Lillian George, NAAC member
Roy Louis, NAAC member
Martha Greig, NAAC member

DAY 1: Wednesday November 29th, 2017

Opening Prayer, Welcome and Introductions

Opening Prayer: 
The day commenced with an opening prayer given by Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) Elder and National Aboriginal Advisory Committee (NAAC) member Fred Campiou.

Welcome and Introductions:
Anne Kelly, Senior Deputy Commissioner (SDC) welcomed the NAAC members to the meeting. Ms. Kelly then advised the NAAC members that the Commissioner had announced his retirement from CSC.

Ms. Kelly noted that NAAC members Roy Louis, Christine Lillian George and new member Martha Greig were unable to attend this meeting. She then introduced new member William Charlie to the group.


The NAAC members introduced themselves and spoke to their backgrounds both personally, and with respect to their experience with the NAAC and CSC. It was expressed by the NAAC members that communication between meetings needs to be improved and meetings need to occur more frequently than they have been. Furthermore, a review of the Terms of Reference for the NAAC was requested by NAAC members. It was also suggested that the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI) be invited to attend a future NAAC meeting.

Action Items:

  • Improve communication between NAAC members and CSC between NAAC meetings.
  • Increase the frequency of NAAC meetings to more than one meeting per year.
  • Review the ToR and roles/responsibilities of the NAAC at a future meeting.
  • Invite the OCI to a future NAAC meeting for information sharing.

NAAC Sub-Committee Update – Human Rights/Mental Health

Mental Health:
Presented by Jennifer Wheatley, Assistant Commissioner (AC), Health Services (HS)

Ms. Wheatley presented recent changes that CSC has made to policy, specifically Commissioner's Directive (CD) 709, Administrative Segregation and CD 843, Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm.

Elder Campiou proposed a unit dedicated to Indigenous holistic interventions be developed at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC), Prairie Region for Indigenous offenders. Marty Maltby, Director of Operations, Aboriginal Initiatives Directorate (AID) advised the NAAC that the RPC received Aboriginal Social History (ASH) training in the Fall of 2017.

Ms. Wheatley updated the NAAC on other changes that have occurred within HS. Ms. Wheatley advised the NAAC that CSC had approached an Indigenous doctor from Manitoba to work with CSC to determine what the Service can do to ensure that staff are working through an Indigenous lens with respect to health care of Indigenous offenders. Ms. Wheatley offered to have the NAAC engage with this doctor in the development of a strategy for Indigenous health care in CSC. Ms. Wheatley confirmed that it was the NAAC that had connected HS to the Indigenous Physicians' Association, which is where CSC was provided with the contact information for this doctor.

Mr. Maltby provided an overview to the NAAC regarding the changes that CSC made to CD 567, Management of Security Incidents. Ms. Kelly updated the NAAC on CSC's new Engagement and Intervention Model.

Action Items:

  • HS to link Dr. Fowler with the NAAC.

Individual Photos

NAAC members had their photos taken for their biographies.

Action Items:

  • AID to work with communications to finalize NAAC member biographies to be posted on website.

Introduction of New NAAC member

Ms. Kelly introduced Erin Corston, new NAAC member and a roundtable was done. Ms. Corston offered to share pertinent research with the NAAC.

Action Items:

  • AID to distribute research from Ms. Corston to NAAC members. 

NAAC Sub-Committee Update – Inuit Strategy

New Inuit Program:
Presented by France Gratton, DG, Offender Programs and Reintegration Branch and
Emmanuel Rutsimbo, A/Director, Reintegration Programs

Ms. Gratton and Mr. Rutsimbo updated the NAAC on the Inuit Integrated Correctional Program Model (IICPM). Rhoda Innuksuk, NAAC member, stated that when the Inuit go south for their incarceration, they are disconnected. Ms. Gratton acknowledged this gap, and noted that CSC is working at completing the IICPM. Mr. Maltby advised the NAAC that there is also a country food program and a video visitation program in place within CSC. Ms. Innuksuk stated that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Nunavut identified the types of services that they would like to see in the North, which she would share with the table. Mr. Maltby suggested that at a future meeting the group would discuss the recruitment of Inuit staff.

Action Items:

  • Ms. Innuksuk to provide RCPM's list of services that would be helpful in the North.
  • Discussion around recruitment of Inuit staff to be added to a future NAAC meeting agenda.

NAAC Sub-Committee Update – Employment and Community Engagement

Indigenous Offender Employment Initiative:
Presented by Anie Latour-Archambault, National Manager, Employment and Employability, CORCAN and Doug DeVos, Project Officer, CORCAN

Ms. Latour-Archambault and Mr. DeVos presented a deck to the NAAC which provided information about CORCAN. A discussion was held around the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders with respect to percentages of time employed within the community. Additionally, updates about the Indigenous Offender Employment Initiative (IOEI) were provided.

William Charlie, NAAC member suggested a partnership between CORCAN in the Pacific Region (through Kwìkwèxwelhp) and the neighbouring Sts'ailes First Nation community. Lisa Allgaier, DG, AID and Mr. DeVos supported this idea. Mr. Charlie also suggested that offenders could be employed to fight wild fires. Ms. Letour-Archambault advised the NAAC that CORCAN offers wild fire vocational training in the Pacific Region currently, but advised that she would look into it further.

Ms. Latour-Archambault updated the group that:

  • CSC promulgated CD 735, Employment and Employability Program in May 2017;
  • A new form was created that is to be used at Intake to address an offender's employment and educational needs rights away; and,
  • CORCAN is currently piloting projects in some regions as well as reviewing their current processes to ensure successes.

Mr. Maltby suggested that CORCAN should keep the needs of northern communities in mind.

Ted Norris, NAAC member spoke to a project he was aware of called "Going the Distance" which offers Indigenous training for Hospitality and Tourism. Mr. Norris offered to share the curriculum/program once it was in a more final format.

Action Items:

  • Partnership between CORCAN in the Pacific region (through Kwìkwèxwelhp) and the neighbouring Sts'ailes First Nation community to be explored by CORCAN.
  • CORCAN to look into whether fighting wild fires could be an employment opportunity for offenders more commonly than it is now.
  • CORCAN to review the feasibility of increasing employment opportunities in the North (for Inuit offenders).
  • Mr. Norris to share the curriculum/program outline of the "Going the Distance" program.

Overview of the Office of the Auditor General's Report   

Preparing Women Offenders for Release:
Presented by Kelley Blanchette, Deputy Commissioner for Women

Ms. Blanchette provided an overview of the Office of the Auditor General's (OAG) report Preparing Women Offenders for Release. Ms. Blanchette reviewed the recommendations as well as CSC's response, noting that CSC had accepted all recommendations. Ms. Blanchette referenced a research report that had been done on Indigenous women offender correctional programs and committed to sharing this report with the NAAC.

Ms. Blanchette provided information about the Mother-Child program available to eligible women which is done in partnership with the Children's Aid Society. Ms. Blanchette also spoke to the screening process that is done with each offender at intake to identify needs and the Structured Living Environment in women's institutions where 24-hour support is available.

A discussion was held about the higher overrepresentation of female Indigenous offenders compared to male Indigenous offenders who are incarcerated. The idea of training being key for staff working with female Indigenous offenders was discussed. Ms. Blanchette spoke to the trauma-informed model that the Women Offender Sector works with and noted that as part of the Aboriginal Interventions Centers (AIC) training, more ASH training has been and continues to be provided to staff of all levels.

Ms. Allgaier spoke to the incorporation of ASH throughout the entire case management process. Ms. Blanchette also spoke to the changes to Parole Board of Canada (PBC) policy that has resulted from pertinent court cases.

Action Items:

  • Women Offender Sector to share research report done on Indigenous women offender correctional programs and committed with the NAAC.

Closing Remarks

Anne Kelly, SDC

Ms. Kelly advised the group that the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness would be arriving to meet the NAAC at 4:45pm.

Mr. Maltby referenced a document that had been created to highlight all the positive impacts that the NAAC had made and committed to sharing this with the NAAC.

Action Items:

  • AID to share document on NAAC achievements to NAAC members.

Minister's Update    

Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Justine Villeneuve, Policy Advisor, Office of the Minister of Public Safety
Olivier Cullen, Senior Issues Manager, Ontario Region, Indigenous Advisor, Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Ms. Kelly introduced the Honourable Minister Goodale and thanked him for attending the meeting.

The Minister thanked the NAAC for the opportunity to be at the meeting. He expressed that the Mandate Letter from the Prime Minister expects to see a focus on the encounters between Indigenous people and the Criminal Justice System. He further recognized the disproportionate impacts of this system on Indigenous peoples and stated that he was anxious to determine how and whether new and existing programs can meet the objectives of:

  • Addressing the gaps;
  • Improving how systems interact with Indigenous peoples; and,
  • Bettering the outcomes for Indigenous peoples and for public safety overall. 

Minister Goodale requested to hear the NAAC members' perspectives on where they think programming is successful, or where it is not successful, and in cases where programming is not successful, what can be done to improve services. The Minister discussed that in the recent budget, a specific allocation was given to support Indigenous peoples within the Criminal Justice System. He asked the NAAC whether they had been briefed on Budget 2017 initiatives as he would be interested in their perspectives. Furthermore, the Minister spoke to the concerning statistics of Indigenous peoples who are incarcerated and stated that CSC is dealing with the consequences rather than the causes of a bigger issue. He asked the NAAC to consider how improved results for conditional release could be influenced.

A roundtable discussion was held. NAAC members expressed that the Minister being present at the meeting was a positive indication of support for their role. A conversation occurred around communities requiring resources to deal with people before incarceration. The Minister noted that this would be under the responsibility of his colleagues the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs and the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services. However, he stated that in Public Safety, there are crime prevention and community safety programs that could be looked at to mitigate the impacts of the system on Indigenous offenders. Minister Goodale spoke to diversion and alternatives and recognized the importance of ensuring that during the trial phase, that Gladue principles are understood and applied.

Further, Elders' opinions being heard within CSC was also raised as a significant concern with the group. The importance of training being provided to Elders on how to work within the system was discussed at the table, highlighting the significance of the Elder Orientation that is being developed by CSC. Additionally, the members suggested that other Government departments look at the feasibility of entering into contracts with Elders for their services to expand the continuum of Elder Services to other departments that impact Indigenous peoples. Finally, the group advised the Minister that National Elders Gatherings are key to decreasing disparity in Elder services across the country.

Ms. Innuksuk recognized that services and opportunities available in the south are still not available to Inuit communities and that this needs to be recognized within these discussions.

Minister Goodale thanked the NAAC for their time and suggested that conversations between the NAAC and his office remain ongoing.

Action Items:

  • NAAC to identify the top three improvements they would like to see in CSC policy or within its operations relating to Indigenous peoples in Corrections, and send this directly to the Minister.

DAY 2: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Opening Prayer and Remarks

Anne Kelly, SDC

Opening Prayer: 
The day commenced with an opening smudge by CSC Elder and NAAC member Lloyd Haarala and a prayer given by CSC Elder and NAAC member Fred Campiou.

Opening Remarks:
Ms. Kelly updated the NAAC on her appearances at recent Parliamentary Standing Committees.

NAAC Sub-Committee Update - Enhanced Case Management Approaches for Indigenous Offenders

CSC's Response to the OAGreport & Budget 2017 Funding
Anne Kelly, SDC

Ms. Kelly provided an overview to NAAC members of the OAG's Preparing Indigenous Offenders for Release report, outlining the recommendations that were made as well as CSC's responses, highlighting that CSC accepted all recommendations.

Ms. Kelly updated the NAAC members on Budget 2017. It was suggested that it would be helpful to have a discussion regarding how CSC engages in partnerships with Indigenous communities a future NAAC meeting.

Action Items:

  • Include a discussion around how to engage Indigenous communities at a future NAAC meeting.

Commissioner's Updates

Don Head, Commissioner

The Commissioner was able to attend the meeting for a short period of time to address the group. A roundtable discussion occurred. Comments included that the experience of incarceration needs to be humanized and that better arrangements need to be made around northern offenders' return to the northern communities, and that the roles and responsibilities and ToR of the NAAC need to be revised and strengthened.

The Commissioner recognized that the advice that the NAAC has provided over the years has helped to shape the submissions that were put forward for Budget 2017. The Commissioner advised the NAAC that the Minister has been very supportive of what the NAAC has been doing and that the Minister is aware that the NAAC is mandated by the CCRA. The Commissioner noted that the Minister would decide what his office's role with the NAAC would be, moving forward, stating that his advice to the Minister would be to attend the NAAC meetings from time to time.

The Commissioner then updated the NAAC members on current initiatives that CSC is engaging in. He spoke to AICs as a significant opportunity to engage Indigenous offenders as they arrive to CSC. Furthermore, he updated the NAAC on a project in the Prairie Region that would like to engage Indigenous offenders as soon as they enter institutions, so that they are not influenced by gangs or negative associates immediately.

The Commissioner acknowledged that with his retirement and with the new NAAC members, now is an opportune time to determine how to best use the members' time and how to capitalize on this.

NAAC Sub-Committee Update – Enhanced Case Management Approaches for Indigenous Offenders

Aboriginal Interventions Centers
Lisa Allgaier, DG, AID

Ms. Allgaier provided the NAAC with an overview of the AICs. She spoke to the OAG's Preparing Indigenous Offenders for Release report, and discussed that the National Indigenous Plan was created in response to this report. She updated the NAAC that within this National Indigenous Plan, CSC has developed AICs, which include focus the Aboriginal Continuum of Care and applying an Indigenous lens throughout all case management decisions of Indigenous offenders. She highlighted the importance of Elders within this initiative as well as maximizing the involvement of Indigenous communities earlier in and offender's sentence. Ms. Allgaier spoke to the AICs as a culturally responsive, integrated correctional approach to case management that sees consideration of Aboriginal Social History (ASH) as key. She highlighted to the NAAC that overall, the goal of AICs is increased numbers of successful conditional releases for Indigenous offenders.

Ms. Allgaier advised the NAAC that training on this initiative was done across the Service in the Summer and Fall of 2017 and is ongoing at the sites.

Ms. Corston questioned whether the AICs would be evaluated and Ms. Allgaier confirmed that they would be. She also indicated that AICs would be fully operational by March 2018.

Update on CSC Research

Larry Motiuk, Assistant Commissioner, Policy Sector

Mr. Motiuk provided a history of research within CSC and announced that since 2006, well over 100 research studies have been published by CSC. Mr. Motiuk committed to sharing this list with NAAC members and to developing a visual distribution of research to provide to the NAAC. Mr. Motiuk requested NAAC members to submit any ideas they may have for research that can be done by CSC.

Mr. Motiuk distributed various Research at a glance reports as well as a research report on Pathways from 1992 for discussion with the NAAC.

Ms. Kelly advised the table that PBC is providing ASH training for cultural competency. Ms. Allgaier also advised the group that PBC has an Indigenous Circle as an advisory to their executives, which includes Elders.

Mr. Motiuk updated the NAAC on research initiatives currently under way. A discussion was held between NAAC members and Mr. Motiuk around research methodologies, ethics, data interpretation, etc.

Action Items:

  • List of research studies completed by CSC to be shared with NAAC members.
  • A visual breakdown of CSC research/statistics to be developed by Policy Sector and distributed to NAAC members.
  • NAAC members to provide ideas for CSC research.
  • Results of National Evaluation of Correctional Programs to be shared with NAAC members.

NAAC Sub-Committee Updates – Elder Vulnerability

Elder Orientation & Elder Contracting Process
Lisa Allgaier, DG, AID

Ms. Allgaier provided an overview of how the Elder Vulnerability report (inclusive of recommendations) had been developed. She advised the NAAC that the report had been tabled at a previous NAAC meeting and the Commissioner approved the recommendations in principle. Ms. Allgaier committed to providing the NAAC members with the Elder Vulnerability report. Elder Haarala and Elder Campiou provided more information to the NAAC around this topic.

Ms. Allgaier updated the NAAC on the Elder Orientation that has been developed which will be provided to all Elders joining CSC beginning in April 2018. Ms. Allgaier suggested that at a future NAAC meeting, a discussion occur around how older Elders can provide their wisdom and their knowledge outside of a CSC institution.

Ms. Allgaier informed the NAAC of the changes made to the Elder Contracting process within CSC. Furthermore, she updated the table on the recent progress made with respect to this new contracting process with the NEWG at their November 2017 meeting.

Action Items:

  • Elder Vulnerability paper to be shared with NAAC members.
  • Include a discussion on how to best utilize aging Elders at a future NAAC meeting.

CSC Videos

Marty Maltby, Director of Operations, AID

Mr. Maltby introduced educational videos made by CSC about Indigenous initiatives and offenders which were shared with the group.

Closing Discussions

The NAAC members expressed their satisfaction with this meeting and the information presented as well as the opportunity to interact with the Minister. The NAAC expressed an interest in strengthening the roles and responsibilities and Terms of Reference of the committee, with a new vision for the NAAC for 2018. The work done by the sub-committees should be reviewed next meeting to determine a forward agenda. The members voiced the importance of ceremonies for key transitions.  Elder Haarala recognized the four members that the NAAC has recently lost. A ceremony was recommended to honour these lost members. Mr. Charlie suggested a ceremony be held to recognize the retirement of the Commissioner of CSC. Finally, emphasis was put on the need to hold Elders' Gatherings. The group identified these gatherings as imperative to the Elders working within CSC and suggested that these gatherings serve to maintain consistency across the various regions.

Action Items:

  • AID to provide OAG reports AID Dashboard to NAAC members.
  • Review the feasibility of hosting a National Elders' Gathering.
  • Consider whether honouring ceremonies can be held as requested by NAAC members.

Closing Comments & Prayer

Ms. Kelly provided closing comments and shared her appreciation for everyone's participation. She highlighted the importance of this meeting and indicated that she agreed with the NAAC members, noting that despite scheduling difficulties, these meetings must proceed to keep the dialogue ongoing. Safe travels were wished to everyone.

A closing prayer was provided by Fred Campiou, CSC Elder and NAAC member.

Approved by:

Original signed by

Anne Kelly
Interim Commissioner

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